Sometimes I get so focused on analyzing a picture book’s story and art – what I love about each, what doesn’t work for me, etc. – that I forget the ultimate readers. Kids! Not all littles love every book out there, naturally, but I think there are some stories with more “universal” kid appeal than others.
So I was really excited to stumble onto Canadian author-illustrator Elise Gravel’s newest book, I WANT A MONSTER! (2016, Katherine Tegen Books). Kids. Will. Love. This.
All of Winnie’s friends have monsters, and she wants one, too! By the time she approaches her papa, she’s done her homework and knows exactly how to care for one. They visit the Monsterium and learn a bit about each type of monster, and, while she’d love to have one of each, she eventually settles on a baby Oogly-Wump. The Oogly-Wump, whose name becomes Gus, is naughty, and kid listeners will be giggling aloud as Winnie teaches him that the toilet is not a place to swim and that he shouldn’t do certain things in Papa’s shoes and that peanut butter doesn’t go on one’s head, etc. Gus does silly things to get Winnie’s attention and eats yucky stuff and needs “a bit of discipline.” But even monsters need plenty of love.
As Gus grows and matures, he’s less troublesome (mostly). When he seems sad, Winnie knows exactly what he needs. Which I won’t tell you because I’ve provided enough spoilers. Ooh, but there’s also great nonfiction info at story’s end, in case, you know, you want to adopt and care for a monster of your own.
The art is bright, flat, cartoony, and designed for maximum laughs. Worked for me!
Anyway, this is one you should check out and share with the kiddos in your lives.
So what lately-published stories have appealed to the kiddos in your lives?